My focus is on my family while we are visiting with them in Utah. I can honestly tell you that my thoughts turn to you all often as I go throughout the day.
I remember as a young mom feeling so overwhelmed with the mission of raising my children and caring for our home. It seemed as quickly as I achieved something it was undone. Beds made today will need to be made again tomorrow. Dishes done from one meal will need to be done after the next. So much stuff to deal with. And my children, how can I help them to be better, do better than I have done?
We all want a magic bullet, some easy solution that will make it all right. The solution isn’t easy. The solution is consistent effort. The solution is trying and trying and trying again when you miss the mark, and you will miss the mark over and over again.
The greatest thing I have ever done for my husband, my children, now my grandchildren, and my home is knowing and loving God. He gives me the strength, the humility, and the desire to be better and do better. My Lord tames my temper, softens my attitude, makes my words kinder and truer. He helps me love each and every one so much better than I could on my own and He challenges my heart and mind. He has made me see the many things I have to be grateful for—moments and gifts not to be overlooked that fill each day.
I have come to understand that I am not the center of the universe. That it is not all about me. That when I feel people are in my way—maybe it’s not really my way at all.
Caring for others is a privilege. Caring for my home is part of caring for those others.
I don’t get up in the morning to go to work or school or some other event. I get up to live another day glorifying (hopefully) God with all I am and all I say and all I do. This means not waiting for one more moment in bed but rising ahead of the storm to bring order to the day for the people around me. Remember, we are not thermometers measuring the temperature of our home but thermostats that determine the temperature in our home.
I do not get dressed and cleaned up to go somewhere. I try to take care of myself and look nice to honor God and for my husband. I try to set a standard for my children and grandchildren by my example.
I do not try to bring order or clean my home for guests but for the people who live there. Guests simply get the benefit of my efforts on behalf of my family.
I am not a saint—not by a long shot. I am self-centered, selfish, bad tempered, arrogant, and more than a few other less than admirable traits—apart from God. And I do have my sore spots—I struggle with rejection both real and imagined. I want to be perfect and I hate failure but grace and age have taught me that perfection is illusive and failure is only permanent when you quit.
People are more important that stuff—even very valuable stuff.
Words can do quick, deep, and long lasting damage—watch what you say.
Read, read, read your Bible. Daily. . . and apply it to your life. God is good and He has stored all the wisdom and knowledge we need for each day in that wonderful Book of books.
Every preacher, even well-known ones, is not necessarily preaching God’s Word. We need to have a standard within ourselves to know what is of the Lord and what is not. Too many pulpits are filled with men and women who want to tickle our ears and share a man centered gospel. Man is not the center. God—Father, Son, and Spirit—is. Know what you believe and why you believe it.
Don’t be afraid to be a servant. Others may overlook you or even look down on you. Let the One who judges the heart be the One to elevate you. Step in and care for other people.
Remember how when you speak to your children about something, they will try to point a finger at someone else and justify their behavior by saying it isn’t as bad as (fill in the blank). You did that as a child, too, and somehow we do it as adults. Other people are not our standard. We need to do what is right because it is right and to do it right. Don’t worry about others in this context. Hold yourself to a high standard.
When you care for your home—again, there is no magic bullet. It is the small stuff done consistently that makes a difference. Do the small stuff and teach your children to do the same. Don’t get angry because they fail and don’t listen—we do the same with our Father. Be patient and insistent that they do the right thing. The disciplines of picking up after themselves, making their beds, being helpful, being kind, and speaking the truth in love will make a difference throughout their lives and in the lives of other.
It’s early here in Utah and I want to be awake to read a bedtime story to my boys tonight so I am going to try to get a few more minutes of sleep before I:
- Shower and get ready for the day.
- Have my Quiet Time
- Fix breakfast
- Straighten the house
- Run the laundry
- Take the boys to the dinosaur museum
- And whatever else the day brings before it’s time for
- A bedtime story for my grandsons here in Utah.
Love and hugs,